Scarborough-based Sirius Minerals plc, the firm behind the controversial $2.9 billion fertilizer mine in North Yorkshire, said it plans to apply to move its share listing from AIM to the main market of the London Stock Exchange in a bid to attract new investors.
Sirius Minerals shares rose about 10% to more than 19p after the announcement, giving it a current stock market value of roughly £800 million.
“The company directors believe that a premium listing will support the long-term strategy of the company by providing the company with a more appropriate platform for its growth and is in keeping with the nationally significant nature of the company’s North Yorkshire polyhalite project and its market capitalisation, which as of the date of this announcement is in excess of £700 million,” said Sirius.
“In addition, the company directors believe that admission will raise the company’s global profile, increase its trading liquidity and provide the company with a greater range of potential investors for its ordinary shares.”
Sirius Minerals CEO Chris Fraser said: “It has been a long-stated intention of the company to move to the main market and we are delighted to be continuing to deliver on our goals as we move forward with the timely delivery of our Woodsmith Mine.”
The company will not be issuing new shares in conjunction with the proposed admission or the publication of the related prospectus, and has no current intention to raise capital through the issue of new shares in the UK or elsewhere.
Fraser added: “We are making good progress with the development of the Woodsmith Mine and associated infrastructure, having successfully secured around £1 billion in November 2016 in our Stage 1 Financing, and we are pleased to be progressing in line with schedule and budget.”
J.P. Morgan Securities plc, which conducts its UK investment banking business as J.P. Morgan Cazenove, is acting as sponsor to Sirius.